Thursday, 26 October 2017

Oil Prices Slip Further Following Surprise U.S. Crude Build-SapForex24

Crude oil prices edged lower on Thursday, after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed domestic crude stockpiles increased for the first time in five weeks.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dipped 20 cents, or around 0.4%, at $51.98 a barrel by 3:15AM ET (0715GMT), after losing 29 cents, or 0.6%, a day earlier.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., shed 11 cents, or 0.2%, to $58.34 a barrel.

Oil prices settled lower on Wednesday, pressured by an unexpected increase in U.S. crude inventories and as oil output and exports from the United States rose last week.

Crude oil inventories rose by 856,000 barrels, according to the EIA, marking the first increase in five weeks. That compared with analysts' expectations for a decline of 2.6 million barrels.

The report also showed that domestic production rebounded by 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) to 9.5 million and net imports rose by just over 500,000 bpd, after the falloff due to Hurricane Nate the week before.

Prices remained supported by comments from Saudi Arabia's energy minister on Tuesday reiterating its determination to end a global supply glut and as geopolitical turmoil threatened global inventories.
In other energy trading Thursday, gasoline futures held steady at $1.731 a gallon, while heating oil slipped 0.4 cents to $1.814 a gallon.

Gasoline inventories fell by 5.5 million barrels last week, much more than expectations for a decline of 17,000 barrels. For distillate inventories including diesel, the EIA reported a decline of 5.2 million barrels.

Natural gas futures rose 0.6 cents to $2.925 per million British thermal units, as traders looked ahead to weekly storage data due later in the global day.

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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Forex - Sterling Hits Day’s Highs after UK GDP Data-SapForex24

The pound rose to the day’s highs on Wednesday after data showing that UK economic growth picked up the third quarter was seen as raising the chances of an interest rate hike by the Bank of England next month.

GBP/USD was up 0.31% at 1.3176 by 04.50 AM ET (08:50 AM GMT) from around 1.3122 ahead of the report.

The Office for National Statistics reported that gross domestic product grew by 0.4% in the three months to September, up from 0.3% in the previous quarter. Economists had expected grow to remain steady at 0.3%.

The UK economy expanded 1.5% on a year-over-year basis, matching the previous quarter’s growth and above forecasts for an expansion of 1.4%.

Service sector output provided the bulk of the growth the ONS said, expanding by 0.4% during the quarter.

The manufacturing sector also returned to growth, with output rising by 1.0%, but construction activity contracted by 0.7% on the quarter.

The pick-up in growth was likely to cement expectations that the BoE will raise interest rates next month, but growth of 0.4% is still well below the UK’s long term growth rate.

The euro fell to the day's lows against the pound following the report, with EUR/GBP down 0.38% to 0.8922 from around 0.8966 earlier.

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Monday, 23 October 2017

Gold Prices Hit 2-Week Low as Dollar Gains -SapForex24

Gold prices hit a more-than-two week low on Monday as dollar strength continued to put pressure on the precious metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery lost $2.94, or about 0.2%, to $1.277.56 .

That was just off an intraday low of $1,275.58 touched earlier in the session, its lowest level since October 6.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.19% at 93.75.

Gold is sensitive to a stronger dollar as the gains in the greenback made the precious metal more expensive for holders of foreign currency.

The dollar has found support as hopes for U.S. tax reforms were boosted last week after the Senate approved a budget measure that will allow Republicans to pursue tax cuts without Democratic support.

The greenback ended last week up 0.69%, its fifth weekly increase in six weeks. Investors expect a fiscal boost to push up inflation, which in turn to add pressure on the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, known as the "Trumpflation" trade.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver dropped 0.50% at $16.993 a troy ounce.

Platinum fell 0.62% at $921.05 a troy ounce, while palladium lost 0.44% to $965.60 a troy ounce as both metals hit one-week lows overnight.

To the upside, copper rose 0.24% to $3.173 a pound after Chinese authorities reaffirmed that the country's economy was on track to achieve the official growth target even as its housing market slows.

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Monday, 2 October 2017

Oil prices lower after strong third quarter as Sept. OPEC output rises-SapForex24

Oil prices fell on Monday, pausing for breath after posting gains of as much as 20 percent in the third quarter, after a survey pointed to a slight increase in OPEC production in September.

U.S. crude was down 14 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $51.53 a barrel at 0637 GMT. The U.S. benchmark on Friday posted its strongest quarterly gain since the second quarter of 2016 and the longest streak of weekly gains since January.

Global benchmark Brent crude for December delivery was down 23 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $56.56 a barrel. On Friday, Brent for November delivery closed 13 cents higher at $57.54 a barrel, notching up a third-quarter gain of around 20 percent, the biggest gain in five quarters. It was the biggest third-quarter increase since 2004.

The contract reached its highest in more than two years early last week, and posted its fifth consecutive weekly gain. It was Brent's longest weekly bull run since June 2016.

The price gains have been supported by anticipated demand from U.S. refiners resuming operations after shutdowns due to Hurricane Harvey, but a quick resumption of shale production could put a dampener on prices.

"U.S. production should be soft over August and September, due to Hurricane-related shut-ins but should rebound" in the fourth quarter, Barclays (LON:BARC) Research said in a note.

Oil output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also rose last month, gaining by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd), a Reuters survey found.

Iraqi exports increased and production edged higher in Libya, one of the OPEC producers exempt from a deal to curb output and support prices.

Middle Eastern oil producers are concerned the recent price rise will only stir U.S. shale producers into more drilling and push prices lower again.

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for the first week in seven after a 14-month drilling recovery stalled in August, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.

Drillers added six oil rigs in the week to Sept. 29, bringing the total count up to 750.

Hedge funds and other money managers raised their net long positions in U.S. crude futures and options in the week to Sept. 26, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) reported on Friday.

Managed money net long positions rose by 43,496 contracts to 251,788 contracts, the most since the week of Aug. 22, the CFTC said.

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